After spending the bulk of about 13 years involved in Lawrenceville affairs in one capacity or another, City Councilman David Still said he’s ready to tackle the biggest job in the city: the office of mayor.
Still, 57, said he will run for the top job in Lawrenceville government in this year’s election. The announcement of his candidacy comes on the heels of Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson’s reveal that she would not seek re-election this year, leaving her seat on the council dais up for grabs.
Johnson did not tell the City Council of her plans to not seek re-election until Tuesday night, but Still said he had suspected for some time beforehand that she might not seek another term.
“It took a lot of prayer and thought, and talking to a lot of different people and getting advice on what would be the best thing for me, to not be on the council, to be a council member (or) to run for mayor,” Still said. “It seems to be the latter so I’m going to run for mayor.”
Still’s decision to run for mayor this year means there will now be two open races in the city’s municipal election in November. That’s because his Post 1 seat on the council was also due to be up for election this year.
Still co-owned the Lawrenceville Home Weekly and later the Gwinnett Post-Tribune with his father in the early 1990’s, until its sale in 1995. After the sale, the newspaper became the Daily Post. Still’s father had started the Home Weekly in the early 1970’s. Still currently works as a business appraiser and owns Capital Endeavors Inc.
The first-term councilman and Lawrenceville native has served on the City Council since 2016, but he joined the Downtown Development Authority in 2012 and currently serves on both boards. He also served various duties in the Lawrenceville Tourism and Trade Association from 2006 to 2010.
He was also former Councilman Tony Powell’s campaign manager in 2010.
“I’ve always felt, to be on the council, you needed to be engaged and understand (the city government) in some form as a volunteer and I consider the council position a volunteer position and a servant position,” Still said. “Then, to be mayor, you need to have served some time on the council so you understand how it works.”
As a member of the Downtown Development Authority and City Council, Still has been involved in planning on several developments that are currently taking place around the city or will begin in the near future. Those projects include the SouthLawn development, the college corridor project and the upcoming Lawrenceville Performing Arts Center project.
“(I want) to just continue to make (the city) healthy, to find a way to create that live, work, play community so that where you work, where go to church, where you go to play, where you live, you’re building community — you have all of those relationships,” Still said.
The councilman said he believes the city is headed in that direction, but he also highlighted some areas where Lawrenceville will need to focus some efforts in the coming years, particularly in the area of housing.
“I think we can get there,” Still said. “We’ve got to have all types of housing, so we’ve got to have affordable housing, we’ve got to have higher-end housing. All socio-economic levels make for a good community. You can’t have all one or the other.”